DeShields Picking Bad Time to Struggle

Last year, Delino DeShields was a bright, shining star in the making as the Rangers' leadoff hitter and starting center fielder who was taken right out from under the rival Astros' nose in the Rule 5 draft.

As good as DeShields was at getting on base and wreaking havoc once he got there, there were many who questioned whether he could make it as a full-time, everyday big leaguer due to his defensive deficiency from a throwing standpoint, mainly. Now, it's starting to look like some of those folks were right, but the bad is coming at the plate and on the bases.

DeShields has been caught stealing more than he's been successful this year and is mired in a 2-for-20 slump with more strikeouts than walks. He was so bad, in fact, that the Rangers gave him a day off on Sunday.

This is coming at a bad time for the young DeShields with Ian Desmond getting hot at the plate, Shin-Soo Choo just a couple of weeks from a return from his calf strain and Josh Hamilton also nearing go time for his season debut. Oh, and there's that Mazara guy who's tearing the cover off the ball and might force the Rangers' hand in keeping him up after everyone is healthy.

DeShields is the only true center fielder of that group, even though he was a second baseman before last year, but it might not matter. It'd be in his best interest to get going at the plate again like he was to begin the year, or he might be pushed out.

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